The plan is set to go into effect in 2017, at a cost of $962 million to ratepayers in the state over the first two years alone.
The funding for the bailout will come from ratepayers, and from additional costs placed on ratepayers’ monthly electric bills. Although ratepayers upstate stand to receive the greatest benefit from keeping the plants open, ratepayers across the state will be hit with higher energy bills to fund the subsidies.
A wide-ranging collection of groups, including environmental groups, business advocates, consumer protection groups and good-government organizations have all come out against the subsidy as illegal and unfair for New Yorkers.
The subsidy was created as part of Cuomo’s “Clean Energy Standard,” a plan requiring the state to cut its carbon footprint in half by 2030. Ostensibly, the “Zero Emission Credits,” or ZECs, funded by the subsidy are intended to help New York cut back on its reliance on fossil fuels. However, the subsidy specifically excludes the Indian Point nuclear plant in Westchester. If Governor Cuomo wanted to support more clean energy in New York, the subsidy would be open to all nuclear plants, not just a collection of upstate facilities.